Why You Aren’t Attracting Analytics Talent!

Why You Aren't Attracting Analytics Talent
Why You Aren't Attracting Analytics Talent
Written by Heather L. Cole, May 12th 2022

Are you looking to hire analytics talent but struggling to find people to even apply for your open positions?  Are you blaming the Great Resignation?  STOP!  The people are getting hired by someone… So, today I’ll share what I have been coaching our Lodestar Solutions clients on hiring talent and Why You Aren’t Attracting Analytic Talent.

Your Job Posting Sucks.

The first place to start is sit down and read your job posting!  Most suck.  When you read it, think I was of the experience level I am looking for, would I respond to the post?  Most job posts are written in the old school way when employers have tons of candidates to choose from.  The world has changed and so should how you write your job posts.  It’s not so much what you are looking for but what you offer the candidates with analytics talent!  See our earlier blog, Job Posting Tips to Attract Analytics Talent.

Do You Allow Remote or Hybrid Work?

If the pandemic taught us anything it’s that major corporations can survive and thrive even when employees work from home.  As someone who used to deal with Chicago’s commute, I can tell you when I started working remote over 20 years ago, I vowed I would never work for someone that made me go to an office every day.  Talented people know they can demand a remote or hybrid work environment and if you don’t put it on your post that you offer it, top analytics talent are doing the proverbial swiping left and rejecting you.  

Executive Team Needs to Face Reality

I appreciate that there are many executive teams that want to require people to come back into the office, but the data is showing us that hybrid work and remote work is here to stay.  Even one of my favorite authors, Bernard Marr discusses this in his book,  Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organizations. A quick way to validate this is to ask your team.  Create an anonymous survey and see what your people are saying.  You do realize that if your people want to keep working at least some days remotely and you want them in the office you risk losing them, right?

Evaluate your Pay!

Inflation is real.  The market is benefiting the job seekers, so they are demanding more pay.  But many companies are failing to look at market conditions and adjusting pay.  I had one client post a job and when a friend saw the posting, he said Heather they are extremely low paying for the title they are posting.  This discussion led them to do their research and sure enough they weren’t even close.  It’s easy today to find market rates.  There are many sites like www.glassdoor.com or www.indeed.com where you can put in search parameters and see what the market is paying. 

Unfortunately, for some of you, your prior behavior has given you a bad reputation.  If your online reviews in the job boards is not so stellar you will need to face it head on!  Would you apply for a job with a company that had a 2.8 rating out of 5?  You might want to consider writing in your job post how the environment is changing if you are in this situation.

Learn How to Manage Hybrid Workers

After you check your job posting to attract talent, and you know you are paying a fair wage, you should start to see applicants apply.  Now the hard work comes!  You must learn not only how to manage hybrid workers and remote teams but also how to hire people that would thrive in the new world. 

Ask the Right Questions –

You will want to review your departmental and corporate core values and ask questions to flesh out if applicants have your core values.  I don’t believe this is something we can teach; I believe core values was something our parents taught us when we were children or it’s part of our DNA.  For example, do you really think integrity is taught later in life?  To get yourself started read the book Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude! by Mark Murphy.

Display How You Manage Your Team Hybrid Workers –

During the interview process you want to share what you do that is unique to help them grow and thrive as a manager.  The younger generation want constant feedback and to be part of something important.  As a manager you want to create ways to help meet their needs so you can inspire them.  More on this in future blogs.

Show them the Path.

Finally, you want to make sure you are mapping out a growth plan for any new hires.  With the speed of technology and the rapid changing world, you MUST hire growth minded people.  But as a manager you also must help them define that path for the future and provide feedback.  If your company is willing to invest in their learning and “upskills” make sure you communicate that.  Soft Skill training programs are always a great growth path for analytic professionals.   Another idea is to offer group coaching to your team members.  If you want to learn more about group coaching and professional development programs, email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Analytic Talent Resources

Here’s another resource you might want to check out if you are seeking talent.

Gartner’s article on How to Attract and Retain Talent for Your Data And Analytics Team.

Summary of Attracting Talent

Hopefully you had a couple ahh moments while reading our thoughts on why you aren’t attracting Analytic Talent.  Hybrid work and remote teams are here to stay.  We would love to hear about your struggles and creative ideas you have had to address them.  Please email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com to set up a chat.

Job Posting Tips to Attract Analytics Talent

Job Posting Tips to Attract Analytics Talent
Job Posting Tips to Attract Analytics Talent
Written by Heather L. Cole, February 3rd 2022

“I can’t believe it! Our IBM Planning Analytics guru is leaving.  He’s been here 10 years and we just gave him a raise.”  This statement has been repeated to me many times in the past year.  The Great Resignation is in full swing.  And it’s getting more challenging to attract IBM Planning Analytics/TM1 talent.  So, I thought I would take some time to help any organization looking to attract budget, forecasting, and planning analytics talent.  Here are my job posting tips to attract analytics talent.  These tips are great for all job posts, but we will focus on attracting Finance and IBM Planning Analytics/ TM1 talent.

The Point of View of the Job Post

You have probably noticed your news feed is filled with articles stating that it’s an employee’s market.  Organizations are struggling to find and keep analytics talent.  They are offering sign on bonuses, work from home options and other perks.  Well, these articles are making employees think, “what could I get if I left?”  With a few clicks of the mouse, they are looking at their options and feeding the wave of resignations. 

What I don’t understand is if it’s such an employee’s market why are job postings still written focusing on what the employer is looking for?  If you are looking for analytics talent you need to stop and consider whose point of view is the post written from?  

The post should be written to appeal to the reader and standout.  You must share why the worker would want to work for you over a competitor! 

Communicate What Talented Analytics Professionals Seek

The world has changed and so have the desires of top IBM planning analytics professionals.  The pandemic made a lot of people realize a long commute isn’t required.  Working from home can work. Lifestyle and quality of life are more important to talented people. 

Take a moment and write down what you think your ideal IBM Planning Analytics professional would want.  Then go ask your existing team what they value and what inspires them?  What do they like about working at your organization?  Now weave what you have to offer into your job posting.   Remember you want to stand out as they may have a lot of opportunities. 

Here are some of the things I hear IBM Planning Analytics and talented finance people looking for:

  •  Flexible work schedules
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Opportunity for growth in the position
  • A firm that will invest in their training
  • Interesting work that makes a difference
  • A company that believes in the power of analytics and executives support it.

Don’t Focus on Specific Technology

I realized I stated I would focus on job posting tips for IBM Planning Analytics / TM1 talent but in your search for analytics talent stop limiting your pool to people with existing IBM Planning Analytics experience.  Often, I see job descriptions that state TM1 or IBM Planning Analytics experience a must.

It has been my experience that technology advances so quickly that anyone with knowledge of robust planning applications like Anaplan, Hyperion, Adaptive and other industry competitors could be a great fit for your organization.  The most important thing you need to find is someone that knows how planning models work.  Looking for skills like problem solving and communication are more important than knowing a specific version of IBM Planning Analytics.

There’s also a benefit of getting someone without IBM Planning Analytics or TM1 experience.  They will go through training and learn all the new functionality that you haven’t implemented yet, like virtual hierarchies (See Guide to Creating a Virtual Hierarchy) and workspace.  (See What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace Version 67 and 68).

Maybe you will realize when they come on board it’s time for a remodel.  For more information on remodels see our blog It is Time to Update Your Operating Planning Models

Words Matter - Grab their Attention

You want to make your job description stand out!  You want the individual to read it thinking OMG this is me!  Well, words matter.  You want to make sure they feel inspired and excited.  I appreciate those of us in technology and finance may not be expert copywriters, but I am guessing someone in your company is.  Ask for help from someone on your marketing team.

Here’s a sample of some copy that Lodestar Solutions has used in our job postings to attract entry level IBM Planning Analytics / TM1 talent.  When people responded to this job post, they usually commented that the post spoke to them.

Are you an expert in Microsoft Excel and love to analyze numbers?  Do you work in accounting or finance and find it extremely satisfying to creating macros to automate tasks?  Do you love the challenge to simplify models and processes and are inspired to find a better way to deliver information to the business?  Are you a confident communicator who can interface equally well with technology teams and business-side managers?  Are you looking for an opportunity to put your problem-solving skills to use and make a difference?

Where are You Posting your IBM Planning Analytics Job Opening? 

Last but not least on our list of job posting tips, where are you putting your job posting?  Are you just putting it on your website and hoping someone will see it? 

To find top talent in IBM Planning Analytics, Lodestar Solutions recommends posting it where top talent hangs out.  There are a number of IBM Planning Analytics user groups, many have their own LinkedIn group.  There are financial planning LinkedIn groups too.  But I believe the best way to get the word out is to have your talented team members share the job posting on LinkedIn to their network.  Ask your business partner, consultants you work with and IBM sales representatives to share your post.  Believe it or not they know a lot of people

Analytic Talent Resources

Here are a few other resources you might want to check out if you are seeking talent.

Call Us for Help Finding Talent

If you are a Lodestar Solutions client, remember we are happy to review your job posting.  We are also happy to share it within our vast network.  Let’s chat.

Not a Lodestar Solutions client, no problem, contact us and we are happy to discuss how we might help you find your next IBM Planning Analytics rockstar.  Email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

We hope you have enjoyed this blog and use our job posting tips to attract analytics talent.  Please share a comment on your tips to attract talent.